Making fun of the minor pétanque games is easy and fun. Do we really need a bowl of Boca Raton? Or a bowl of the loan tree? Or a bowl of Gasparilla? Or a bowl of cameilla? Or a Hertz bowl? Or a bowl with a guaranteed rate? (Only one of them is fake.) No, probably not. The answer to “Who is better: Eastern Michigan or Liberty?” it never kept me awake at night, nor should the outcome of Tulsa-Old Dominion keep you awake.
That’s why my approach isn’t why I have so many bowls, but rather why not? If your answer is “To avoid head injuries”, thank you for your concern, but they signed up for it, so let’s move on. Football is in the same category as boxing and MMA at this point; the warnings are on the label.
That said, without forgetting that more football beats less and less football, and let’s face it: this is the last chance for many of these players to suffer brain trauma. It would be great to cap a playing career with any nationally televised bowling game. (Did you hear, Scott Frost? Any game of boules would be great.)
As well as giving young men a bigger stage to do something they love one last time, it’s also an opportunity to see unconventional pairings, individual geniuses from future pros or college greats, all-time games, wild endings, and memorable moments. If these sound like slide titles to a college football non-marquee bowling moments countdown, you’re wrong.
I’m not counting anything. You’re a fucking adult. Don’t “read” slideshows, you subscribe to The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Keep your dignity intact. This is an ode to the unforgettable that has come from the irrelevant that happens to have slides.
Combinations and strange moments
Clearly, the big bowls games will feature the pairings you remember most – Vince Young and Texas versus Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and USC – but how about 1998 Sun Bowl between USC and TCU? Second running back LaDainian Tomlinson and real freshman Carson Palmer shared a field that day. It would have been cooler if LT had played more, but that’s not the point, the point is, baby-faced Palmer and baby-faced Tomlinson shared the court.
Okay, didn’t it hit you? Here’s some recent trivia: who’s the only Big 12 team to beat Dabo Swinney? It is not Oklahoma, Texas or the state of Oklahoma. It’s Nebraska.
Check the tape. Bo Pelini and the Cornhuskers rallied to beat Clemson in the 2009 Gator Bowl, 26-21, and both universities have since moved in opposite directions. Swinney was technically the interim manager that year because Tommy Bowden stepped down. Pounding Clemson took in the 2012 Orange Bowl at Geno Smith and West Virginia arrived when the WVU was still in the Big East.
If that’s not weird enough, did you know when? Ohio State manager Woody Hayes infamously hit a Clemson player during a game was it during the 1978 Gator Bowl? I’m sure you knew he punched a player in the throat and got fired for it, but I bet you didn’t know he was in a non-New Year’s six boules game. If we didn’t have these mundane bowling games, we would never be weird in crazy moments like those or shows like these …
The NFL greats and HOFs are falling apart
Yes, I know that including Barry Sanders or Randy Moss in anything comes as an excuse to showcase the highlights of Barry Sanders and Randy Moss, and that’s exactly that. Sanders equaled a bowling game record with five running touchdowns and 222 yards on the ground, including a 68-yard volley that featured a classic Barry swing (4:05), in the 1988 Holiday Bowl.
Moss was a Heisman finalist during his final season of college ball at Marshall, which ended up against Ole Miss in the first edition of the Motor City Bowl in 1997. The Thundering Herd, quarterbacked by Chad Pennington, were unable to eliminate Deuce McAllister and Ole Miss, losing 34-31, but Moss received six passes for 173 yards and a touchdown.
There are many other All-Pros who have enlightened to bowl hawaii or a Las Vegas bowl here and there, but not all college football stars have a game that results in the NFL or tough in the league due to injury or whatever, so it’s nice to have a cherry on top of their college careers …
Games that show the greats of college football
It’s easy to remember what Tim Tebow, Tommie Frazier or Young did in their college careers because they played in the biggest games and won a title / titles. But what about those players who more or less peaked in college and didn’t win titles but still loved?
I’m sure Michigan State fans remember Charles Rogers (RIP) effort from 10 tricks, 270 yards and two touchdowns in the 2001 Silicon Valley Classic against Fresno State even if the Detroit Lions fan in them wants to forget it. That match may have been cursed, though, because Rodgers’ opposite was future No. 1 David Carr, who threw for 531 yards and four touchdowns, and was never eliminated in the NFL. Carr’s favorite Bulldog target, Rodney Wright, actually beat Rogers, which seems impossible until you see his stat line: 299 yards, 13 tricks, and two touchdowns.
The offensive numbers from that match were wild: 11 touchdowns, over 1,100 combined attack yards, and two combined receivers for 569 of them. Wright’s 299 yards and Rogers’ 270 yards are found on points two and three in the list of yards received in a game of bowls. (The top is 308 from Hawaii catcher Jason Rivers in the 2006 Hawaii Bowl.) Performances like these are why arbitrary bowl games can be so fun.
While we know Robert Griffin III definitely had a moment in the NFL, his last game for Baylor, the Alamo 2011 bowl against Washington, makes the 2001 Silicon Valley Classic look like a bad Big 10 game. The two teams combined 1,397 yards (bowling record), 123 points (bowling record in rule book) and 17 touchdowns (bowling record).
Baylor was down 42-24 at the start of the third quarter and ended up winning 67-56. RG3 accounted for only 340 of the Bears’ total 777 yards (a bowling record), so maybe it wasn’t the showcase for him that I remember, but I’ll never forget that bout on the track or how much joy RG3 and that Baylor team left on the trail of mind-boggling numbers. It’s a shame that injuries derailed his pro career because he was a more accurate (and more injury-prone) version of Lamar Jackson.
That said, it was still a record-breaking game, something more common in smaller bowls games. On purpose…
Stupid broken records
Whether it’s points scored, big comeback or not knowing who Bailey Zappe of western Kentucky was/ who was chasing more pass points, taking against him in your game of bowl picks and looking with a sense of “Obviously I went up against the guy who is throwing quick tilts on the first and target from that because he is trying to overtake Joe Burrow “, the crazy, straightforward storylines and games that manifest themselves by pitting teams of college kids against each other at random are fantastic.
One of the funniest stats was your boyfriend Mike Kafka from Northwestern who completed 47 passes (bowling record) out of 78 attempts (bowl record) for 532 yards (eighth plus is bowl play), four touchdowns and five interceptions (the second most in a match bowl) in an overtime loss to Auburn in the 2010 Outback Bowl.
Then there is the 2001 GMAC Bowl, which is the highest-scoring bowl game ever with 125 points, which saw Byron Leftwich equalize the bowl game record for past yards (576) and lead Marshall to the second most. great comeback (30) in bowl history, a 64-61 extraordinary thriller against East Carolina. The biggest comeback (31 points) was made twice. However, what would have been the craziest and craziest comeback fell just short of in the 2014 Bahamas Bowl …
Almost crazy comebacks
During the first Bahamas Bowl in 2014, Central Michigan and quarterback Cooper Rush were behind Western Kentucky 49-14 with 8:55 left in the third quarter, but technically they didn’t start their rally until the fourth, when the QB made launched five touchdowns. passes, including this time-out “The band is out on the field” touchdown.
That pitch turned hot potato game was his seventh pass TD of the game, which was – say it with me here – a boules game record. However, instead of kicking the extra point and going overtime, Central Michigan threw a Tom Osborne, bet for two and won but didn’t get it, ending their bid for what would have been a 35-point comeback. record-breaking.
Michigan came within 15 yards of a similar side-off walk-off against Nebraska in the 2005 Alamo Bowl that came complete with madness of people-on-the-court-who-should-not-be-there.
Wolverine fans will still argue that a flag should have been thrown for Husker players entering the pitch mid-game, but it hasn’t been called so calm. I remember watching that game over the Christmas break and then falling asleep on the second broadcast on my sister’s apartment floor after celebrating the W with family and friends all night.
Aside from a New Year’s six boules game or the playoffs, there’s no better way to end a season – or celebrate the holiday season – than with a wild win over a good team in a boules game …
No more teasing at the end of the game. Here are a couple of truly memorable Hail Marys that were answered in meaningless pétanque games. We’ll start first with Capital One Bowl 2005, when Iowa’s confused Drew Tate beat an even more confused LSU defense on the last pass of the game.
And now let’s finish with the 1980 Holiday Bowl. Jim McMahon and BYU followed SMU’s Pony Express aka Eric Dickerson and Craig James, 45-25, before recovering by 6 to 45-39. The Cougars blocked a punt and then shot off the 41-yard line with 3 seconds left.
There are so many moments I’ve definitely forgotten, which is why this isn’t a top ten, so don’t kill me for it. When you sit down to midweek football (not a rescheduled NFL game due to COVID) during the holiday season, try to enjoy the glitz and spare the cynicism for people telling you New Year’s resolutions.
And if you want a full list of bowling records, here it is to go. Happy bowl season!